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sa best green blog 2008

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2008-04-03 11:44

(cc): Cape Town Daily Photo(cc): Cape Town Daily PhotoThank you to everyone who voted us SA's Best Green Blog 2008 - we're thrilled to have won the award! There were some great blogs that were nominated and made it to the finals, so if you don't already read them, check out:

carbon copy
Prolific and wide ranging posts on everything carbon smart, by Rory Williams
earth touch
Stunning wildlife pics and stories.
greener house
Greening your home and beyond by journalist, Don Boroughs.
mother city living
Living the good (green) life in Cape Town, by Pia Taylor.
synaptoman
Aquaponics and a whole lot of commentary. Some of it very funny.

Thanks again to all our readers and especially those who voted!

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river of flames and climate action

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-12-07 15:13

If you're in Cape Town tomorrow, just a reminder that the Black River needs your help before it spontaneously combusts.
Cuyahoga River: Regularly caught alight due to pollutionCuyahoga River: Regularly caught alight due to pollution
From a recent article on IOL:

The aptly-named Black River in Cape Town is so polluted it could catch fire, an environmental organisation warned on Thursday.

"High levels of E.coli [bacterium] and phosphorus are turning the Black River into a methane-gas-producing swamp, which poses severe health risks to humans," the group What-On-Earth-Is-Happening (WOE-H) said in a statement.

Rivers in other parts of the world with such high levels of pollution had burst into flames, "and the Black River could do the same unless urgent action is taken", it said.

You'll also get to see some local politicians and celebs in latex (gloves).

Details of the river cleanup event over here.

And if you're in Joburg there is a day of climate action going down at Rhodes Park to coincide with demonstrations on Climate Change taking place around the world.

The event is hosted by the GreenHouse Project and will include a Q&A answer workshop on climate change, drumming sessions, poetry readings, craft made from recycled materials and demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficiency appliances.

Check out more details over here


awareness and action!

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2007-12-06 11:21

The first step down the road of making a difference is awareness: if you don't know what's happening out there you can't act. At urban sprout we try to raise awareness in a few different ways - news and opinion articles, green guides, a directory of positive options and details of upcoming events. We've been sending out details of events in our newsletter for the last few months, but today we launch a green events calendar to make this information more visible.

So without further ado, here are some important happenings in the next few days you'll want to support:

Safeage talk: Learning from the South American experience

The most common belief about genetically engineered crops is that they are necessary to feed our burgeoning world population, but when big business takes over small scale family farming, it results in the concentration of land ownership, the destruction of peasant economies and indigenous crops, malnutrition, urban migration, increased poverty and crime.

Join Safeage and Javiera Rulli tonight at the Portobello Restaurant, Long Str, Cape Town as she explains the social and environmental situation of South America due to the expansion of Round Up Ready soy monocultures.

Clean-up of Black River

Black River testing: Pic: SA Mercury Assessment ProgramBlack River testing: Pic: SA Mercury Assessment ProgramCape Town's Black River is in dire need of a clean-up and this Saturday, 8 December, local citizen group What On Earth is Happening (WOE) will lead a massive campaign, backed by the City of Cape Town, celebrities, other environmental and corporate partners to clean up the Black River in one of its most polluted stretches close to where the N2 connects with the M5. This is a great opportunity to meet up with other like minded people and be part of a solution. Positive action is very empowering!

While You Were Sleeping screening: Uranium Road

If you're still sitting on the fence about nuclear power in South Africa and the PBMR this is the movie to see. Uranium Road lift's the lid on the closed world of nuclear in SA revealing secrets and greed. Uranium Road is a 53 minute documentary, based on the book by Dr David Fig.

Take a look at our calendar view of events here

And if you know of any upcoming green, organic, enviro events be sure to let us know


first blog action day

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-10-15 21:13

Today is Blog Action Day and the inaugural theme is the environment, which kinda makes every day blog action day on urban sprout!

The idea behind Blog Action Day is that every blogger writes a post about a single topic on a specific day and then donates any money made from their blog (huh, there's money to be made blogging?) to an environmental charity.

So far close to 16,000 blogs have signed up and you'll find plenty of blogs that don't usually deal with environmental topics joining in the fray for a day. Taking a look at amatomu there are quite a few south african bloggers rising to the occasion.

Here's a random selection of SA posts:
no bad days, sa rocks, notes from underground, anja merret, web addiCT, gottaQuirk, flint.za, Afrigadget, whijo.net, the empire collective, Jenty's photo-a-day

And our contribution to blog action day? A wrap of some green news:

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greening it up – tues 09 oct 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-10-09 09:47

The power of community: how Cuba survived peak oil. SAFeAGE are hosting this ‘must see’ in Cape Town on Wed 10 Oct. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. We highly recommend that you go and see this. For more on the event

New Eat In now on shelves. The latest Eat In is out and includes stories on sustainability, food miles and the winners of this year’s Small Producers’ Awards. Buy it now!

First solar-powered traffic light in SA. Find it: on the intersection on Plantation Road, Montagu’s Gift in CT. Retrofitted with LED lights ( see green your heating and cooling for more on LEDs and their green cred), a solar panel and batteries, it forms part of a three-month assessment. But it’s off the grid! [allafrica]

Science comes up with six big ideas to save the world. Here are some big ideas from scientists to counter global warming that include: mirrors to cut radiation from the sun – with risks of acid rain and ozone depletion - a cloud shield, synthetic trees and increasing plankton and algae in the oceans. [guardian]


help change the world

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-10-08 11:06

You can donate the time your computer is turned on, but is idle, to projects that benefit humanity! Sustainable home 4 all – a blog by the WC department of environmental affairs and development planning – is urging South Africans to help understand the impact of climate change by donating your PC time; and here’s how:

There's an interesting SA climate change project at UCT called AfricanClimate@Home. They’ve (IBM and the climate systems analysis group at UCT) established a global computing effort to improve regional climate models so that they can make better projections about what effects a changing climate will have in Africa...

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nuclear power to get a caning

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2007-09-05 17:50

I wish the above read "nuclear power to get a canning", but it seems the government's nuclear plans will not be abandoned without a fight from concerned citizens, NGO's and community groups. Enter CANE - the Coalition Against Nuclear Energy, a group that is banding together to do something about Eskom's intended rollout of 10 new conventional nuclear reactors and its long-term plan to rollout 24 Pebble Bed Modular reactors on several sites around the country.

Those in the coalition are concerned about the unnecessary and heavily subsidised costs, nuclear safety and the unsolved problem of long-term spent fuel storage.

Seven sites have been chosen for new nuclear reactors in the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape, while Pelindaba in the North West Province has been offered nuclear enrichment facilities, nuclear fuel fabrication and nuclear smelter plants. Various areas around the country have been identified for...

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a morning with the planters of the home

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-08-31 09:35

Abalimi Bezekhaya means "the planters of the home" in Xhosa and I had the opportunity to spend an incredible 4 hours with Rob Small yesterday morning on a tour of some of their projects and facilities in Khayelitsha.

One of the main messages I got from Rob, which resonated very strongly with me, was the need for a shift in mindset from a consumer culture to a livelihood culture. We are suckered into a consumerist existence - living from one acquisition to the other - without questioning what the point of it is. Bigger, better, more expensive. When confronted with the harsh realities of township poverty, this point is really driven home. A "livelihood culture" is more than a subsistence way of life, one where we strip off the excesses of western life in order to enjoy more creative, meaningful work.

Our day started with a small group of us meeting at The Business Place in Philippi, where the Abalimi co-ordinating office is located, and, after quick introductions by Rob, we piled into two cars and headed off to see what Abalimi is all about. En route we got an inkling...


we're bloggers for positive change

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2007-07-04 16:30

We've been tagged by The Vegan Diet who've bestowed us with a "Bloggers for Positive Global Change" award. That's pretty cool, thank you!

"Bloggers for Positive Global Change" (BPGC Award) is an initiative of Climate of our Future, "a blog meant to open a discussion of global climate change by providing articles, resources and opinions that provoke our readers to thought and action."

The award is brand spanking new, only having started two days ago, so I'm looking forward to seeing just where else it ends up...

It's interesting tracing the route the award took to get to you, our's came: via Climate of our Future -> A New Green Earth -> The Vegan Diet -> urban sprout.

Here's some more from the CooF site:

Many like us, but not all, write about the threat of global climate change and ways to reduce our carbon emissions. Others take on various other social and political causes that have to be tackled if humanity is ever going to preserve, persevere and progress. None of us have all the answers, but taken together we form a collective consciousness and wisdom that will help move our world in a positive direction.

We are creating an award meme to salute these efforts. This award goes out to all of the Bloggers for Positive Global Change. It’s not limited to any specific ideologies, religions or philosophies. It puts a premium on human compassion and the desire to make the world a better place for all of us, without exception.

So to further the cause, and in keeping with the BPGC rules, here are five green south african blogs we admire, in no particular order, each one of them spreading a green message in their own way, and adding to the diaglogue that will change our world for the better. Consider yourself tagged!

Neverness - insightful commentary about a diverse range of topics that matter including open source software, genetically modified foods, politics, literature, happiness, gojiberries and of course telkom. Ian brings a centeredness to the SA blogosphere and is also a director of the Ethical Co-op.

Soekershof - they're Fairtrade tourism certified, they grow organically, empower their staff and tell good stories. Weird and Passionate are also quite mad.

Relax with Dax - Dax is passionate about good food and knows where to find it in Cape Town. He also blogs about environmental and social issues and avoids rBST milk like the plague.

The Antidote - a must-read blog covering lots of topics: genetically modified food, renewable energy, nuclear power, politics, social justice, to name a few. Andreas is the admin for Freecycle Cape Town and he's also involved in While You Were Sleeping.

GreenCars.za.net - great writing on all things vehicular and environmental. This should be required reading for anyone contemplating buying a 4x4 (Don't!). Carl is a car nut with a conscience, whose blog is informed and very interesting to read.

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greening it up - mon 18 jun 07

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-06-18 11:16

Horse drawn cart journey comes to an end. Here's a story that I find awesomely inspiring. Suz Philips took to the road on a cart drawn by 15 year old horse (called Hercule Peroit) and her 83-year-old mum driving the support car (33 year old Datsun) full of lucern to raise money for Aids orphens! They managed to cover the 842 kilometers from Cape Town to Knysna in three weeks (must have been the scenic route, not the N2!) and cope with wheels falling off, attacks by Alsatians and adverse weather. More on [IOL]. Donations can still be made to Eden College (encouraging eco entrepreneurship and sustainable community wealth) and Home from Home (building a network of homes in communities, for each one to provide a family structure for the children in its care).

UK organic sales break through the 1 billion pound mark. But farmers are struggling to keep up, which is causing the growth of the organic market to slow, says a consumer report issued by UK retail magazine The Grocer. It said that overall sales of...


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